MBA Alumna Pursues Luxury Fashion Career In France
Born in Israel and raised in Los Angeles Karen Madeline Zairi has always wanted to study fashion. She attended Milken Community School in Los Angeles and then headed to the University of Colorado, Boulder, for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. “While I was finishing my undergrad program at Boulder I started looking for fashion-focused Master's programs in Los Angeles. I was intrigued by FIDM's curriculum and faculty.” She transferred to FIDM and completed her MBA in June 2021, and then decided to move to France in May of this year. We checked in with Karen to learn more.
How did you land in France? Have you been there long? With a Master’s Degree in fashion business management, I thought to myself, "What better place to go than the fashion capital of the world?" I figured while I was in France, I would learn the language and further immerse myself in the culture and the French savoir-faire. I have currently been living in Paris since May and plan to stay here for the next two years.
Are you currently looking for work there? What kind of jobs are you looking for? I am currently looking for career opportunities in a luxury fashion retail organization focused on creating modern and unique experiences for its clientele. I am studying French part-time and looking to further my career in an organization where authenticity, innovation and quality are among their core values.
I am currently employed by a boutique called Libertie, on rue du Commerce in the 15th district of Paris. Libertie has 5 boutiques around Paris and is a family-started company owned by a mother and daughter. The store is a Bohemian Chic-style shop for women that sells clothing, various accessories, and shoes. I love working for this type of organization because I am able to be very hands-on at work and learn about all the different parts of the business that make it successful. It's been a great experience and I am loving it because I am really immersed in authentic French culture. It is also great because I am only speaking French with clients which is helping to skyrocket my speaking and comprehension skills.
What are your career goals? My career goal is to have an influence on the way we see luxury retail today and create experiences that clients will remember not just for a day or week but for a lifetime. I want to be part of creating lifetime experiences that cannot be found and replicated elsewhere. With today's advancements in technology people can basically do everything they need from the comfort of their home. Retail space innovators have to create experiences and spaces that their clients cannot have elsewhere. In turn this helps grow business revenue because clients spend money, advertise the experience via social media, and then continue to come back regularly. Luxury retail spaces are niche where clients have very high expectations and want to be impressed at every touch point and sense.
Why did you choose FIDM for your MBA? I chose FIDM for my MBA because of my passion for the luxury fashion industry. The faculty was made up of high level professionals from different backgrounds. I found FIDM to be a place where students could creatively express themselves both artistically and professionally.